Clive, Iowa. It calls itself a city but only has about 15,000 residents so “city” seems a little grand. It’s basically a suburb of Des Moines, and it’s kind of a confusing place.
We arrived here after an uneventful 6 hour drive (counting various delays for food, petrol etc), most of which I spent in a drooling daze due to the travel sickness pills we’re experimenting with. Result: extreme drowsiness, but at least no sicking. The drive was nice enough, but the landscape here is still pretty Englishy so other than the pretty red barns and occasional giant USA flag there was nothing massively exotic to report. We did get trapped in a brief traffic jam, weird in a journey that was otherwise on pretty empty roads, and noticed during the wait that some truckers here appear to have weaponised their trucks with deadly spikes.
Anyway. Today was the first of a three-day stretch with lots of driving, to get us across to Denver where we’ll have a well-deserved break from all the travel. As such, during the planning stages we picked our stopovers by looking at the map and going with towns that were pretty evenly spaced driving distance-wise. Clive was in roughly the right spot and has the best town name ever, so of course we immediately booked a hotel and have been looking forward to it ever since.
The first thing we noticed about Clive is that it has a few unexpectedly large and busy hotels just off the Interstate, one of which we are now in. It’s actually an “Inn and Suites” type affair and the rooms are more like family sized apartments. We have two double beds, a living room with a proper sized TV, a full kitchen, and what I can now confirm is a lovely lovely bath. Kind of a shame we’re only here for one night, but there you go.
After spreading our mess efficiently around the room we wandered out for an investigate. Clive itself appears to mostly consist of a sort of narrow strip between other suburbs,with the hotels and fast food restaurants making up the public face and then behind those, secretive streets of perfectly suburban immaculate homes. Dave was completely overexcited, living in American suburbia has long been his dream, but personally I found some of the gardens to be a bit overlooked. I’ve been outvoted though and it looks like we’re retiring to Clive. Houses are cheap here, at least (yes he already checked).
We took in the greenbelt walk, passed a lot of joggers doing some sort of race (one of which shouted “Go Packers!” at the sight of my t-shirt, teehee) and eventually wound up in an Applebees asking them to take the chicken out of a pasta dish. Right now we’re holed up in the giant hotel room, I’ve stolen a blanket from the bed and am making a nest on the couch, and we’re watching our 1700th episode of Big Bang Theory this week.
It’s a hard life, this roadtripping lark.